Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 104 (7), 070401

Resolution of the Abraham-Minkowski Dilemma

Affiliations

Resolution of the Abraham-Minkowski Dilemma

Stephen M Barnett. Phys Rev Lett.

Abstract

The dilemma of identifying the correct form for the momentum of light in a medium has run for a century and has been informed by many distinguished contributions, both theoretical and experimental. We show that both the Abraham and Minkowski forms of the momentum density are correct, with the former being the kinetic momentum and the latter the canonical momentum. This identification allows us to explain why the experiments supporting each of the rival momenta gave the results that they did. The inclusion of dispersion and absorption provides an interesting subtlety, but does not change our conclusion.

Similar articles

  • The Enigma of Optical Momentum in a Medium
    SM Barnett et al. Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci 368 (1914), 927-39. PMID 20123741.
    It is 100 years since Minkowski and Abraham first gave rival expressions for the momentum of light in a material medium. At the single-photon level, these correspond, res …
  • Optical Momentum, Spin, and Angular Momentum in Dispersive Media
    KY Bliokh et al. Phys Rev Lett 119 (7), 073901. PMID 28949675.
    We examine the momentum, spin, and orbital angular momentum of structured monochromatic optical fields in dispersive inhomogeneous isotropic media. There are two bifurcat …
  • On Diffraction Within a Dielectric Medium as an Example of the Minkowski Formulation of Optical Momentum
    MJ Padgett. Opt Express 16 (25), 20864-8. PMID 19065224.
    The Abraham-Minkowski dilemma relates to the disputed value of the optical momentum within a dielectric medium and whether the free-space value should be divided (Abraham …
  • Chapter 33: The History of Movement Disorders
    DJ Lanska. Handb Clin Neurol 95, 501-46. PMID 19892136. - Review
    In the last two centuries, neuroscientists and clinicians contributed greatly to our understanding of basal ganglia anatomy and physiology, as well as to movement disorde …
  • Physics of Optical Tweezers
    TA Nieminen et al. Methods Cell Biol 82, 207-36. PMID 17586258. - Review
    We outline the basic principles of optical tweezers as well as the fundamental theory underlying optical tweezers. The optical forces responsible for trapping result from …
See all similar articles

Cited by 12 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles
Feedback